Statement during the ID with the SR on minority issues

Norway would like to thank the special rapporteur for an important report on how to address challenges on discrimination, and violence, against Roma. The challenges are truly many.

The Special Rapporteur presents figures regarding health, work and education, that are indeed alarming.

Norway would in particular like to thank the Special Rapporteur for paying attention to the challenge of multiple, intersecting forms of discrimination and to violence, not least gender-based violence and trafficking.

The Special Rapporteur reminds us that we must understand the present report as complementary to work undertaken by many other UN mechanisms, such as matters linked to safe drinking water and to adequate housing. This is a crucial point.

The Special Rapporteur presents four pillars in her minority rights approach to the protection of Roma, and they all give guidance to governments. Norway supports an approach where government think outside the “poverty paradigm” and incorporate all elements of minority rights into strategies that address Roma disadvantage.

Finally, two brief questions

First, one of the major challenges associated with Roma is education, which could also partly explain problems at the labour market. Does the special rapporteur have examples of best practice on education of the Roma minority in Europe or elsewhere?

Second, has the Special Rapporteur considered compiling a report with special relevance for minorities, including Roma, together the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing.

Thank you